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Grandeur of Fiordland by Super Yacht

  • Overview
  • Accommodation
  • Itinerary
  • Fares

A journey overview

  • Queenstown
  • Fiordland
  • Dusky Sound
  • Milford Sound
  • Wanaka
  • Franz Josef
  • TranzAlpine Train
  • Christchurch

17 Days Expedition Voyage
  • Departing:
  • 11 Feb 2023 1 suite remains
  • 5 Mar 2023 Selling Fast

Aboard the luxury super yacht Island Escape, just 30 guests will experience New Zealand’s South Island as never before. Fiordland’s landscapes are beyond compare, its soaring peaks sublime. We zigzag its channels and coves, in awe as countless waterfalls cascade down jagged cliff faces around us. Helicopters, Zodiacs and the TranzAlpine train ensure none of the island’s beauty goes unseen.

Map
Island Escape
Island Escape Outdoor Lounge

Island Escape Luxury Super Yacht

Discover the fiords of New Zealand’s South Island while enjoying the pleasures of cruising aboard the luxury super yacht Island Escape. Just 30 guests will live the all-inclusive lifestyle on board, with all meals and drinks, including fine wine and espresso coffee.

Fiordland helicopter
Franz Josef Glacier

Take Off to Greater Heights

Our luxury vessel comes equipped with its own helideck. Thanks to our specially chartered helicopter, we’re treated to incomparable aerial perspectives during our visits to Lake Te Anau and Milford Sound, as well as Fox and Franz Josef glaciers.

Kayaking in Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound

Get Up Close to Distant Shores

Reach New Zealand’s sublime wilderness and remote shores with access to our yacht’s Zodiacs and tenders. Or choose to glide through the water at a more leisurely pace thanks to one of the onboard kayaks.

Fly Fishing equipment
Queenstown

The Adventure Capital Your Way

While in Queenstown, try your hand at fly fishing. Visit Arrowtown and taste the locally distilled gin. Admire contemporary New Zealand art at award-winning Artbay Gallery. Or enjoy some of the world’s finest pinot noir during a tasting in Gibbston Valley.

Mussels
Pacific Jemm

Delectable Dining

A private dining room with views of Queenstown’s twinkling lights awaits us at Bob’s Peak. Savour first-class cuisine and carefully selected wines aboard Island Escape, while our Farewell Dinner is a private affair at elegant Riccarton House.

Image: Edward Howell

Itinerary

Arrive in Queenstown and meet your fellow travellers at Hotel St Moritz, which boasts spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountain range. This evening, the Skyline Gondola takes us over the city for an inspiring aerial perspective. Admire the glow of a setting sun from 450 metres in the air, aboard the Southern Hemisphere’s steepest cable car. The lights of the city soon stand in stark contrast to the imposing peaks of The Remarkables behind them. On returning to terra firma, a private dining room awaits us at Bob’s Peak. We enjoy our Welcome Dinner with extraordinary views over Queenstown’s twinkling lights. The Hotel St Moritz hosts us this evening for the first of a two-night stay.

Choose the nature of your Queenstown immersion today, with a Your World experience:

  • Breathe in the crisp alpine air while trying your hand at fly fishing in a remote location.
  • Historic Arrowtown may otherwise tempt you this morning. Wander the main street, with its row of 19th-century wooden buildings, before pausing to sample a taste of the locally distilled gin. From here, travel to nearby Gibbston Valley, home to some of the world’s finest pinot noir. After lunch at Kinross winery, enjoy a tasting guided by four quality local producers. Then enjoy the cool climate of the Gibbston Valley Wine Cave, where a further tasting awaits.
  • For those who have chosen to take the morning at leisure, an afternoon option is also available. Head to the award-winning Artbay Gallery, whose curator will guide you through its many pieces of contemporary New Zealand art. Treat yourself to a glass of sparkling while hearing how the collection was brought together.

We reconvene later this afternoon and board the stylish yacht Pacific Jemm for a privately chartered cruise of Lake Wakatipu. Enjoy a pre-dinner drink aboard this luxury vessel, surrounded on all sides by the rugged mountain range of The Remarkables. Disembarking, we dine in style at nearby Botswana Butchery.

We round Lake Wakatipu this morning, taking the road to Te Anau. After enjoying lunch at The MacKinnon Restaurant & Bar, with views of Lake Te Anau, we take to the skies aboard a helicopter for dramatic aerial perspectives over Fiordland. In a manner befitting James Bond, we then make our descent into mystical Doubtful Sound, landing stealthily upon the helideck of luxury super yacht Island Escape. Its surrounding waters are pristine, reflecting the surrounding peaks back at us. Take it all in, then settle in to your suite. We then begin our voyage, navigating the epic surrounds of Doubtful Sound, before reaching the open waters of the Tasman Sea. Our dynamic positioning system brings the vessel to a halt on entering secluded Dagg Sound. Enjoy the fresh sea air tonight, as we dine alfresco, during a Welcome Dinner.

We cruise further south this morning, while keeping watch for passing whales. During our lunch amid the epic scenery of Dusky Sound, the captain tells us some of the local history, including key moments from Captain James Cook’s visits to the region. Be on the lookout for bottlenose dolphins leaping out of the water as we make our way to Pickersgill Harbour, which was named after one of Cook’s lieutenants. It’s here the famed navigator beached his ship HMS Resolution, at the time in some need of repair. This historic site can only be reached by the water. Perhaps take one of our onboard kayaks out along the shoreline, pondering what it may have been like for Cook and his crew as they drew near the towering peaks and exotic vegetation of this remote land. Heading ashore, we take the short walk to Astronomers Point, the site of a temporary observatory set up during Cook’s stay. After some exploring of our own, we return to Island Escape to enjoy dinner paired with regional wine.

Following breakfast this morning, our vessel glides over smooth waters to the head of Dusky Sound. Following the Seaforth River, we find Supper Cove. This point marks the beginning of the western trailhead for the Dusky Track, a challenging but rewarding hike taking in several lakes, rivers and valleys. As we continue cruising toward Cascade Cove, scan the shore while our captain tells stories of elusive moose roaming Fiordland. With no photographic evidence having been captured since the fifties, the legend that they still inhabit the area has endured nevertheless, with several unsubstantiated claims making the rounds in the intervening years. Our yacht takes us along Cook Channel and into Fanny Bay, before we board our Zodiacs and head for shore, visiting Seaforth Hut. The fresh sea air stirs a hunger in us this evening, which we promptly satisfy back on board thanks to our yacht’s dedicated chefs.

This morning, we are whisked to nearby Sportsman’s Cove, where we enjoy morning tea and learn more of the region’s history from our captain. We’re also given some inside knowledge about local moose sightings. Negotiating Acheron Passage brings us along Wet Jacket Arm, inventively named by Cook’s crew for the effect of Fiordland’s relentless storms on their attire. Climb aboard a Zodiac for a greater appreciation of the shores’ steep inclines, which lead to imposing and forested peaks. Cruising the length of the arm then brings us to Herrick Creek, before we dock for the night at nearby Oke Island.

Our captain cruises along Acheron Passage this morning, rounding Resolution Island before coming to rest in Disappointment Cove – watch for seals and dolphins here. During a lunch-time talk, we hear of conservation efforts to counter the effect of introduced species, including stoats, deer and possums. Stepping ashore at Sunday Cove, we enjoy afternoon tea, then learn about the local venison industry. Tonight, we retire to our suites while anchored in Third Cove along the relatively small Breaksea Sound, known to host dolphin pods.

Cruising past John Islands today brings us to Vancouver Arm and Broughton Arm. One of our yacht’s officers has the scoop on some secluded fishing spots and offers to take us out to try our luck. With plenty of crayfish and blue cod up for grabs, you may even dine on your own catch this evening. Of course, you may prefer to go ashore and explore the intertidal shoreline and bushland which are also features of Broughton Arm. As the sun sets on yet another adventure-filled day, relax up on deck as the stars begin to populate the sky.

We continue sailing, weaving in and out of Fiordland’s many arms, and arrive this morning at Nancy Sound. Choose whether to stay on board our luxury super yacht to absorb the spectacular views, or perhaps go ashore to explore the unspoilt coastline more closely. Another opportunity to catch more fresh crayfish is also available today. Our voyage continues to the north this afternoon, making for the twin arms of Charles Sound. The immaculate beauty here is inspiring and our Zodiacs bring us ever closer to it as we head up the Irene River. This evening, our dinner takes place at the head of Charles Sound.

More fishing adventures await today at the head of Caswell Sound. The option to remain on board and take advantage of our yacht’s amenities is always yours. This afternoon, take a stroll along the beach near the mouth of Stillwater River. Our mooring at Caswell Sound this evening provides the perfect setting in which to take in the grandeur of our surroundings – perhaps from the jacuzzi.

George Sound beckons this morning. Our voyage here rewards us with views of the serene Lady Alice Falls. The more adventurous among us may choose to climb the track leading to the top of the falls for more astonishing outlooks. Our yacht then brings us to Anchorage Cove, where we savour the isolated foreshore at the mouth of the George River. We pause here overnight in the shadows of majestic peaks.

Our voyage brings us to Bligh Sound today, named after the commanding lieutenant of the infamous HMS Bounty. Anchoring in Amazon Cove, we step ashore and hear stories of lost tribes and learn about the Wild Natives River. Today may also present us with further opportunities to explore the shoreline aboard our tenders. During our final night aboard Island Escape, our captain hosts us for an extravagant dinner. Reminisce about your favourite moments during our cruise with the crew and your fellow guests.

The sublime beauty of Milford Sound is ours today. We bear witness to its enormous forested mountains rising up from dark blue waters. Waterfalls cascade down cliff faces, while clouds puff up as if smoke from active volcanoes. Arriving in Harrison Cove, our attention is drawn to the gargantuan Mitre Peak, one of New Zealand’s most iconic sights. Enjoy an early lunch on board before we disembark via helicopter through this spectacular scenery, eventually touching down at Wanaka Airport. We soon check into Edgewater Hotel on Lake Wanaka, where we stay in Lakeview Suites.

Fuelled for our next adventure, thanks to a hearty breakfast in the Wineglass Café, we hit the road. Our vehicle makes its approach to the west coast and we stop for lunch along the way. Early in the afternoon, we arrive in the town of Franz Josef and board our waiting helicopters. Hovering high overhead, we’re held spellbound by a vast white outlook. Approaching the twin glaciers of Fox and Franz Josef, our helicopter eases down upon the soft snow, presenting us with magnificent photo opportunities. The contrast could not be greater as we reach our luxury accommodation, Te Waonui Forest Retreat. Sprawling ferns colour the view from the private balconies of our Deluxe Rooms. Tonight, enjoy a four-course degustation menu among the trees at our retreat’s Canopy restaurant.

Our gradual progress north continues as we take the coastal route to Greymouth. On arrival, we stop for lunch at Monteith’s Brewery. Classic pub fare sits alongside regional favourites on the brewery’s eclectic menu. Fuelled once more and raring to go, we embark the TranzAlpine train and cross the breadth of the South Island. A succession of peaks and valleys rise and sharply fall during our epic crossing before we come to rest in Christchurch. We make ourselves comfortable at Hotel Montreal before taking our pick of Christchurch’s many restaurants for dinner.

Set out on a city tour this morning. Learn what makes Christchurch tick and how it has overcome the monumental challenges posed by its recent earthquakes. This most English of all New Zealand’s cities also boasts several exquisite gardens, hidden beaches and striking architecture.

After pausing for lunch, join a Your World experience:

  • Head out on a Punt ride, gliding down the River Avon, your guide decked out in traditional Edwardian-era clothing.
  • Take a tour of Christchurch Botanic Gardens aboard an all-weather electric vehicle.
  • Or visit Quake City, an elaborate museum charting the earthquakes that rocked Christchurch in 2010 and 2011.

Our Farewell Dinner is a private affair at the elegant Riccarton House. The grand homestead has been lovingly restored in period style and is complemented by well-manicured lawns and native bushland.

After breakfast, take the opportunity to explore Christchurch on your own terms before reconvening for an early lunch. We then say our goodbyes, transferring to the airport where our grand journey concludes.

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